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  1. #211
    airrunner's Avatar
    "Scavenger"

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    Another thing I liked about this episode were the callbacks that people have mentioned already and some instances of parallelism.

    I noticed two things concerning Scratch.

    1) When Burt is talking to Pete on the landline. Pete tells him they need to get Scratch now. He ends with "Kill that bi*ch!" and Burt growls in response, "I WILL!" That is a callback to the scene when CJ is in the Colony hospital trying to rescue Burt. Burt, from within his cell, says "whoever you are, shoot that bi*ch!" and CJ shouts "I WILL!"

    2) As for the parallelism (or maybe one could call it a callback):

    When Scratch spots Burt lying on the ground after the fall of the Tower he tries to reach for Shirley on the ground next to him. Scratch kicks it away and then moments later knocks Burt out.

    When Burt spots Scratch lying on the ground after falling from Dunbar Tower she tries to crawl on the ground for the gun. Burt kicks it away. Later Scratch reaches for her knife in her boot and Burt knocks her out.

  2. #212
    airrunner's Avatar
    "Scavenger"

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    One last post (sorry to monopolize).

    This one has to do with the uplifting/crowd-pleasing tone of the finale. I remember while listening to all of the WND podcasts nikvoodoo kept pointing out that zombie fictions never end on a positive note. I agree with his assessment and certainly where "We're Alive!" ends is a completely different place than "The Walking Dead" (comic book series). The former makes survival seem more difficult (so long as their are Smart Ones out there) whereas the latter makes survival seem pretty manageable. But the former ends with a feeling of hope for the human race where the vibe of the latter is of despair and resignation that no matter what you do, everyone will ultimately end up dying. A similar phenomenon is true for Romero's "Night of the Dead" series and the "28 Days Later" series. Even though none of the zombies in those mythologies are as scary as the We're Alive special ones, their tone is pessimistic about the future of humanity.

    So once again KC broke with convention by having the majority of the main characters survive in the end and I'm happier because of it. it's clear to me that the strength of "We're Alive" lies in the rich development of its characters. The zombie apocalypse subject matter (with a twist) while important, is not what kept me coming back for more. I think KC said in an interview how difficult it is for him to kill off one of his characters and I think it showed. We didn't have to deal with that many deaths and so when they happened the deaths were incredibly emotional and powerful (I cried during 42-3 and 44-3 like I haven't cried for anything else in a long time, even in my real life). I'm glad most of the heroes survived. I like to think that most of these folks I have come to know on such a personal level are still out there somewhere, fighting to stay alive.

    But back to my first point, most zombie fiction I see tends to devolve into a critique about humans like "as bad as the zombies are the humans are worse to each other" or the "zombies are really a reflection of the worst that humanity has to offer" In contrast "We're Alive" is very pro-humanity. I feel empowered that we can overcome anything (with a few bad apples like the Mallers to contend with) and continue to survive. And thus I totally dig the optimistic ending to this series.

  3. #213
    LiamKerrington's Avatar
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    @airrunner:

    Keep it spinning. There is nothing to worry about; if you monopolize, go ahead, just because. If no one else steps up with his/her/its thoughts, so be it.

    Your final reflection about the overall "theme" of We're Alive wraps it up very good. But I need to disagree with - no, not so much with you, but with Nikvoodoo - : Not all Zombie-Stories necessarily end up negatively. The best example would be World War Z - no matter, if you look at the book or the movie, which is very different from the book. But both versions of WWZ end up with a positive prospect, though traumatized through the events of the zombocalypse as far as it went. So WWZ was kind of a milestone in the zombie-genre, as it showed the possibility of the survival of the humans.

    Kc did an amazing job displaying the bad, mean, even worse than that sides of the humans during the zombocalypse. There was a lot of desperation and actions based on that as well as willfull and planned mayhem humans deploid against each other. And sometimes it even raised the question of acts justifying the means. With some decisions of Kc's writing I would not want to agree; and sometimes I really have a hard time not to become hypocritical - for example if it comes to Burt, who I really enjoyed listening to on the upside, but some of his actions I simply cannot agree with on the downside (especially the final grave-thing with Scratch, 'cause it simply is inhuman and makes Burt a messenger of the death-sentence (edit: exaggeration /edit), which I cannot accept on any term).

    Besides things like this I am very happy about Kc's story, because after all it remained THE Story of Survical although there was a lot of pain involved.

    Best wishes!
    Liam
    Last edited by LiamKerrington; Jul 29th, 2014 at 01:50 AM.
    Zombie Story:
    - raises the acceptance of killing humans in huge numbers,
    - reveals everything bad and and even worse about human behaviour and psychology,
    - is fun.

  4. #214
    nikvoodoo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LiamKerrington View Post
    @airrunner:


    Your final reflection about the overall "theme" of We're Alive wraps it up very good. But I need to disagree with - no, not so much with you, but with Nikvoodoo - : Not all Zombie-Stories necessarily end up negatively.
    Ok fine. So there are TWO stories that end on a positive note. Two. Sheesh.

    And 28 Days Later.... ok so there are three. Three exceptions....
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    ~Ra1th: Nik doesn't sleep, he waits.~
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  5. #215
    YetAnotherBloodyCheek's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nikvoodoo View Post
    And 28 Days Later.... ok so there are three. Three exceptions....
    Well, um, nope. 28 Days Later led to 28 Weeks Later which led to Paris being overrun by zombies.
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    Pegs' pretty precious potato planter

  6. #216
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    Quote Originally Posted by YetAnotherBloodyCheek View Post
    Well, um, nope. 28 Days Later led to 28 Weeks Later which led to Paris being overrun by zombies.
    minor details. Besides, the ransacking of Paris isn't in 28 Days Later. We're getting off topic though. WA Rocks.
    ~Ra1th: Nik doesn't sleep, he waits.~
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  7. #217
    airrunner's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LiamKerrington View Post

    (especially the final grave-thing with Scratch, 'cause it simply is inhuman and makes Burt a messenger of the death-sentence, which I cannot accept on any term).
    Hmm... I didn't get this from Burt. I didn't take his actions against Scratch as evidence of a larger pro-death penalty stance for either him or the show. Actually the show is ambivalent about what it would have done with Scratch given that Pegs did not want to kill Scratch once it was clear she was helpless even if Burt and Riley did. And as for Burt, on the one hand, the notion that certain people's offenses are punishable by death wouldn't phase him, but on the other hand, he's anti-authority and anti-establishment so I doubt he'd want a governing entity to have the power to decide who deserves capital punishment and who doesn't.

    In any case this specific instance of Burt killing and emotionally torturing Scratch is all within the context of his desire for revenge for what she did to him. Objectively speaking nobody (that we know of) has suffered as much at the hands of Scratch than Burt. He was starved for four months, had the symbol of his beloved wife pulverized, and lost his primary trigger finger (when we already learned in Chapter 13 that Burt feels helpless and scared if he can't use his firearms). And he knew that the torture would never let up and there would never be away out of it until he came clean about the whereabouts of the rest of the Tower folk, which had to have inflicted emotional pain to Burt on top of the physical. We also know from Burt himself that after the loss of Shirley and his finger the ONLY thing that kept him living was the dream that he could take revenge against Scratch somehow. Burt's desire to kill Scratch was completely personal to him.

    I don't think Burt has any illusion that what he did to Scratch is morally acceptable from a societal perspective. He actively dissuades Riley from her plan to kill Scratch because he wants her moral compass to remain pure. In fact when Riley began to embrace the concept of torturing Tardust in order to get information from Scratch, Burt specifically asked her if she wanted to go down that road. He also tried to stop her from shooting Tardust when he was goading her. It's clear to me that Burt views himself as damaged (probably from his time in Vietnam) and that he knows he is capable of doing dark things if angered or hurt enough, but that doesn't mean he wants other people to behave similarly.

    Put it another way, I'm not convinced that Burt on an abstract level would condone what he did to Scratch out of revenge but I think he accepts that it's something that works for him, given whatever life events he's had to experience, because he is not a morally pure person.

    LIke you, Liam, I do not support the death penalty at the societal level. But I can't judge Burt for what he was compelled to do against Scratch.

    Hope that makes some sense as I thought I had a clearer idea of what I wanted to say before I started responding.

    --Eric
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  8. #218
    airrunner's Avatar
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    Okay after yet another listen through, I had to offer some Hope love from this finale.

    For once her petulant attitude may have helped save the day. As CJ explains to Pegs what she needs to do to get herself, Hope and Nick out of danger, Pegs is reluctant. First she has to shoot a gun down the stairway to stop the Mallers from advancing towards her. She does not want to do it because of her distaste for guns and for shooting at people, but Hope snaps her into action: "You heard her. Go!!" Later on Pegs is waiting to give the signal to release the CS cannisters on the Mallers and Hope again forces her to stop hesitating and act: "Then do it already!"

    (As a rule if someone talked to me in that tone of voice, I'd snap back at them, but Pegs needed the metaphorical slap in the face to get her to move. Haha.)

    And then at the end Scratch orders Hope twice to come up the steps and hand Nick over to her. Hope says "no" with this perfect tone of defiance. That is incredible for a 14-year-old girl to do staring straight into the eyes of a crazed killer. I was very proud of her.

    And while I'm handing out the love, I liked the side of Pegs I heard when Scratch starts threatening to take the baby ("No. You stay the f*ck away from him!"). I'm not sure I've heard her speak with such authority except maybe when she was piloting the pelican.
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  9. #219
    GeneraLee's Avatar
    "Lurker"

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    Quote Originally Posted by airrunner View Post
    Hmm... I didn't get this from Burt. I didn't take his actions against Scratch as evidence of a larger pro-death penalty stance for either him or the show. Actually the show is ambivalent about what it would have done with Scratch given that Pegs did not want to kill Scratch once it was clear she was helpless even if Burt and Riley did. And as for Burt, on the one hand, the notion that certain people's offenses are punishable by death wouldn't phase him, but on the other hand, he's anti-authority and anti-establishment so I doubt he'd want a governing entity to have the power to decide who deserves capital punishment and who doesn't.

    In any case this specific instance of Burt killing and emotionally torturing Scratch is all within the context of his desire for revenge for what she did to him. Objectively speaking nobody (that we know of) has suffered as much at the hands of Scratch than Burt. He was starved for four months, had the symbol of his beloved wife pulverized, and lost his primary trigger finger (when we already learned in Chapter 13 that Burt feels helpless and scared if he can't use his firearms). And he knew that the torture would never let up and there would never be away out of it until he came clean about the whereabouts of the rest of the Tower folk, which had to have inflicted emotional pain to Burt on top of the physical. We also know from Burt himself that after the loss of Shirley and his finger the ONLY thing that kept him living was the dream that he could take revenge against Scratch somehow. Burt's desire to kill Scratch was completely personal to him.

    I don't think Burt has any illusion that what he did to Scratch is morally acceptable from a societal perspective. He actively dissuades Riley from her plan to kill Scratch because he wants her moral compass to remain pure. In fact when Riley began to embrace the concept of torturing Tardust in order to get information from Scratch, Burt specifically asked her if she wanted to go down that road. He also tried to stop her from shooting Tardust when he was goading her. It's clear to me that Burt views himself as damaged (probably from his time in Vietnam) and that he knows he is capable of doing dark things if angered or hurt enough, but that doesn't mean he wants other people to behave similarly.

    Put it another way, I'm not convinced that Burt on an abstract level would condone what he did to Scratch out of revenge but I think he accepts that it's something that works for him, given whatever life events he's had to experience, because he is not a morally pure person.

    LIke you, Liam, I do not support the death penalty at the societal level. But I can't judge Burt for what he was compelled to do against Scratch.

    Hope that makes some sense as I thought I had a clearer idea of what I wanted to say before I started responding.

    --Eric

    Dang Eric/Airrunner... Only 11 posts, but every one of them is like spot on. One thing to add to what you're saying... Burt's moral compass is still damaged in the epilogue. He says to Nick something along the lines of "Revenge never makes the pain go away"... He still suffers for what he did to her. The reasons him doing it are all properly motivated- she did take away everything that made him happy, and trust me that wasn't much. This disaster may have re-ignited his soul, but he was suffering before.

    And what else could he have done? If Scratch was let to live, the future could have been much darker. It's the same as the Z's... it had to be done. He shouldered the burden of her death himself. But he also couldn't just execute her- maybe because the direct action was actually too hard to do for him. It's not a firefight Scratch dies in. In a way, it's killing from a distance. Smashing the radio also severs any type of conscious dilemma when she gets desperate and dying in there. He knows this is going to hurt him as well as her.

    It's a dark fate for her, but is no worse than what she subjected others to. One of our Hero's could have sacrificed part of their soul for the sake of others, while at the same time divided by the amount of personal suffering and thirst for revenge. It's a very complex character motivation.
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  10. #220
    LiamKerrington's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by airrunner View Post
    Hmm... I didn't get this from Burt. I didn't take his actions against Scratch as evidence of a larger pro-death penalty stance for either him or the show. ... LIke you, Liam, I do not support the death penalty at the societal level. But I can't judge Burt for what he was compelled to do against Scratch.

    Hope that makes some sense as I thought I had a clearer idea of what I wanted to say before I started responding.

    --Eric
    Hi.

    Again and it's getting usual for you: Your analytical mind is incredible.

    With my death-sentence I exaggerated, and my statement needs to be set into a "meta-level-understanding". I live by such standards, that I cannot accept any killing of a human being no matter what he or she has done before that. But that does not mean that I don't understand why people do it. All the reasons you have mentioned about Burt, why he has killed Scratch, make perfect sense; and I won't or cannot blame him for doing so. And from a "lyrical" point of view it is even important for the story that the epitome of evil within the human community must be removed by whatever means in order to give the story a positive prospect; so even from that angle it makes more than just sense that Scratch was killed by Burt. I see that, I understand that, but regardless: on a meta-level I consider Scratch a human and thus cannot accept it, when I look beyond the realm of the WA story. (I tend to make things complicated, because even elements of pop-cultural might have an impact on how someone views the real world, which is why I cannot skip this level of thought as well.)

    Best wishes!
    Liam
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    Zombie Story:
    - raises the acceptance of killing humans in huge numbers,
    - reveals everything bad and and even worse about human behaviour and psychology,
    - is fun.


 
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